An Exploratory Analysis of Predictors of Course in Older and Younger Adults with Pathological Gambling: A Non-Treatment Sample

Abstract

We examined the association of baseline social, demographic, and clinical predictor variables with course in 48 older (≥ 60 years) and 57 younger (< 40 years) subjects with pathological gambling (PG) in a prospective follow-up study. Weekly gambling activity was tracked and used to categorize PG course. Generalized estimating equation models were used to examine predictors of disordered (i.e., level 2 or 3) gambling. Interaction tests were used to test for differential relationships for older and younger subjects. Predictors of disordered gambling during follow-up included greater severity of PG symptoms, greater severity of depressive symptoms, self-reported childhood neglect, cognitive distortions related to games of chance, and more role limitations due to physical health. Interaction tests showed that the relationships between some risk factors and disordered gambling varied for older and younger adults. Understanding these interrelationships could allow clinicians to more effectively monitor and manage their patients with PG.

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Funding

The research was supported through a grant from the National Institute on Aging (RO1AG037132).

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DWB: designed the study and provided the initial draft. JA analyzed the data and contributed to writing the manuscript. DWB and JA approved the final version.

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Correspondence to Donald W. Black.

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Dr. Black is a consultant to Otsuka and receives royalties from American Psychiatric Publishing, Oxford University Press, Merck, and Kluwer Wolters. Dr. Allen reports no conflicts.

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The research was approved by the University of Iowa Intuitional Review Board.

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Black, D.W., Allen, J. An Exploratory Analysis of Predictors of Course in Older and Younger Adults with Pathological Gambling: A Non-Treatment Sample. J Gambl Stud (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10899-021-10003-8

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Keywords

  • Pathological gambling
  • Gambling disorder
  • Predictors
  • Addictions
  • Follow-up study
  • Course